Consumer fraud covers a broad array of deceptive and illegal practices performed by companies with the intent to defraud consumers. Consumer fraud lawyers help consumers obtain justice and reparations against corporations that have deceived them out of their money. We know the details of laws put in place for consumer protection, and can help you fight back when you have been the victim of deceptive or illegal practices.
Some of the most common types of consumer fraud include unethical debt collection, identity theft, false advertising, wage theft, and overtime violations. If you have been a victim of any type of consumer fraud, please call Markoff Leinberger at 877-905-5161 for your complimentary consultation.
Examples of Debt Collection Fraud
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides protection against unscrupulous debt collection companies. A recent case that we litigated involved a misleading letter sent by Midland Credit Management to debtors which failed to warn that by paying any amount, an old debt would be reopened.
Debts have a statute of limitations, and after it has passed, the consumer can no longer be sued for the debt. However, if any amount of the debt is paid after the statute of limitations has passed, that reopens the debt and the consumer can be sued again.
Midland Credit Management failed to disclose this information in the form letter it sent to debtors, and a judge in the case ruled that this was a violation of the FDCP.
Other examples of debt collection fraud include:
- Harassment of a debtor by a debt collection company
- Debt collectors refusing to identify themselves or pretending to be police or a lawyer
- Attempting to misrepresent the amount of debt actually owed
Examples of Identity Theft
Identity theft is unfortunately one of the most common types of fraud that consumers encounter. Large corporations often handle the sensitive information of thousands to millions of consumers, and when that information is leaked, it can cause huge problems. Identity theft can happen on a smaller scale as well, such as when your credit card is stolen.
We recently took a case against MacNeal Hospital for improper care of sensitive information which led to multiple victims being burglarized. MacNeal Hospital allowed a low-level employee access to information such as the victims' addresses, which should never have happened under the Personal Information Protection Act.
Other examples of identity theft include:
- A stolen credit card number, which can lead to large charges on your credit card and can ruin your credit score if not stopped in time
- Stolen social security number, which can allow the perpetrator to open new credit cards, take out loans, and file false taxes under your name
Examples of False Advertising
False advertising occurs when a business misrepresents an item it sells. False advertising can cover everything from local bait and switch schemes to national advertising campaigns put on by multinational corporations. Some of the most famous false advertising class action suits include:
- Kellogg's claiming that one of its cereals improved the attention span of children
- Activia yogurt claiming that it is scientifically proven to improve digestive health
- Red Bull claiming to enhance your physical and mental abilities
False advertising lawsuits are often most effective in class action format, because typically the monetary amount lost by consumers is not enough on its own to warrant an individual lawsuit.
Wage and Overtime Violation Examples
Employers will often try to skirt the law in order to improve their bottom line, no matter the consequences to employees. Some of the most common examples of wage and overtime violations include:
- Forcing employees to work off the clock in order to avoid paying overtime
- Intentionally miscalculating the amount of overtime paid
- Paying employees less than minimum wage
- Not paying owed vacation time when an employee quits or is fired
- Withholding your final paycheck
Unfortunately, the type of employees who are often targeted with these violations are the ones who need the money the most. Call Markoff Leinberger for a consultation if you think your employer is not paying you fairly.
Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation
If you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please don't hesitate to call Markoff Leinberger at 877-905-5161 to schedule your complimentary consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and nationwide.